Painting exterior surfaces safely at heights above 2 metres presents many challenges. Many years ago, work was carried out using wooden extension ladders, timber planks and hand made timber trestles. Numerous injuries and some deaths occurred as a result of poor and rushed workplace practices. Today Occupational Health and Safety Laws prevent employers and employees from engaging in backyard cowboy practices.
In Victoria, if you work in the General Construction Industry, there a specific obligations and duties that you must comply with under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act) 2004 and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (OHS Regulations) 2017. This code provides a guidance for safe practices when working at height.
One such practice is providing a Pitched Platform Scaffold, when the second storey roof is to steep to stand on and the roof tiles are to brittle to walk along. The pictures below highlight the effective way in which the Platform scaffolding is installed and the way it then provides a safe and strong working platform for Painters to complete their work.
The terracotta roof tiles are removed to expose the timber roof rafters, to allow the lower arms of the scaffold to be attached to the timber rafters. They are evenly spread out so as to allow a uniform weight distribution along the entire scaffold. Once the arms a screwed into place, rubber matts called Boots are wrapped around each secured arm to prevent water/ rain from entering the cavity.
The aluminium planks are installed and wrapped in position to prevent sliding and movement and the handrails are also installed and tightened to act as a safety barrier for fall prevention. When the installation is complete, the Painter is able to walk along the platform safely as well as place or store their equipment on the platform securely.
On completion, the scaffolders return and dismantle the platform and supports as well as return all roof tiles to their correct positions.
The Pitched Platform Scaffolding is installed and dismantled by certified and licensed contractors who must also comply with the codes and regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act & Regulations.